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Marie Hoffmann

Executive Assistant to the President and Coordinator of the Fellowship Programme 

Marie Hoffmann is Executive Assistant to the President and coordinator of the Fellowship Programme. Her research focus is on Chinese outbound tourism. Prior to joining MERICS, she worked at the Berlin branch of the Goethe Institute, where she was responsible for customer relationship management and international project coordination. She studied Sinology, Chinese language and business in Berlin, Paris and Shanghai. She also worked in several Chinese companies and gathered experience in multilateral collaboration.




Yuan Jingdong

Visiting Academic Fellow

March to June 2017

Yuan Jingdong is Associate Professor at the Centre for International Security Studies, University of Sydney. Professor Yuan specializes in Indo-Pacific security, Chinese defense and foreign policy, global and regional arms control and non-proliferation issues. He has held visiting appointments at National University of Singapore, University of Macau, East-West Center, National Cheng-chi University, and worked at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Middlebury Institute of International Studies between 1999 and 2010. He is co-author of A Low-Visibility Force Multiplier (2014) and China and India: Cooperation or Conflict? (2003), and co-editor of Australia and China at 40 (2012).


Senior Policy Fellows

Corinne Abele

Senior Policy Fellow

Corinne Abele is the head of the Foreign Trade Information Bureau at GTAI in Shanghai. From 1998 to 2012 she worked in the same position in Beijing and Taipeh. The economist and Eastern Europe historian (MA) has accompanied China’s economic development with analyses, articles and lectures for more than 15 years. Her work mainly focuses on the observation and analysis of innovation-driven technology markets in the PRC. She is also specialized in environmental protection, renewable energy, engineering and competition in China.

Anna L. Ahlers


Senior Policy Fellow for Chinese Domestic Politics

Anna Ahlers is Associate Professor for „Modern Chinese Society and Politics“ at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages (IKOS), University of Oslo. She was one of the founding members of MERICS where she worked as Deputy Director of the Research Group on Politics.  Ahlers is the author of numerous international publications on China’s changing political system. She worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Bonn. Prior to that she worked as a Greater China Assistant to the CEO in a strategy consultancy bureau in Frankfurt. Ahlers studied Sinology and Political Science in Tübingen and Beijing. She gained her PhD at the University of Tübingen, where her research focused on social and economic policy in rural areas of contemporary China. 


Joachim Glatter

Senior Policy Fellow for Chinese Law

Joachim Glatter is a German attorney-at-law. He worked as a partner for leading international law firms in Frankfurt and (as early as 1991) in Beijing and subsequently in Shanghai. He is a nominated arbitrator on the Panels of Arbitrators of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) and the Shanghai International Arbitration Center (SHIAC). His expertise encompasses advise on Chinese foreign investment and commercial law relevant for foreign companies as well as on arbitration in China. Joachim Glatter has authored numerous publications and given speeches on Chinese economic law. He studied law at the universities of Münster, Lausanne and Göttingen and the Chinese language (in 1986/87) at the University of Nanjing. He earned his PhD in 1988 with a thesis on Chinese commercial and investment law.


Hanns W. Maull

Senior Policy Fellow for China's Global Role

Hanns W. Maull held the Chair for Foreign Policy and International Relations at the University of Trier in Germany until March 2013; since then, he has been teaching as Adjunct Professor of International Relations at the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies Bologna Center. He is also a Senior Distinguished Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin. Educated in Munich and London, his career  included positions at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London, professorial positions at the Universities of Munich, Eichstätt and Trier and a three-years spell as the European Secretary (now European Director) of the Trilateral Commission. From 2004 to 2012, he served as member of the Board and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Council of the SWP. He has published extensively on the foreign policies of Germany, the EU and Japan, on regional security co-operation and regional order in Europe and Asia Pacific. His primary interest at present concerns the crisis and mutations of international order and China’s changing position in it. 


Thilo Hanemann

Senior Policy Fellow for China’s Global Investment

Thilo Hanemann is Research Director at Rhodium Group, an economic research firm based in New York. He leads Rhodium Group’s cross-border investment practice, supporting private and public sector clients in assessing new trends in global capital flows and their implications. One of his areas of expertise is the evolution of China’s international investment position and the implications for the global economy.


Hauke Gierow

Policy Fellow

Hauke Gierow is a policy fellow for Internet Governance at MERICS. He works as an IT security journalist with golem.de, Germany’s biggest IT news portal. Prior to that, he was a researcher for cyber security and Internet governance at MERICS and worked with Reporters Without Borders Germany as well as the Open Knowledge Foundation. Hauke Gierow studied political science and Chinese studies at Trier University.




Ian Johnson

Senior Policy Fellow

Ian Johnson is a Beijing-based correspondent of The New York Times and regular contributor for The New York Review of Books and The New Yorker. He is associate editor of the Journal of Asian Studies. He visited China for the first time in 1984, and has spent more than twelve years there. His research focuses on civil society, religion, and China's search for new values.

During his time as a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal Johnson won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of China. Johnson received a Master's degree in Chinese Studies from the Free University of Berlin, held a research fellowship at Harvard University, and a grant from the Open Society Institute.

Elena Lichtenthaler

Policy Fellow

Elena Lichtenthaler (Klorer) currently pursues a PhD at the University of Göttingen working on China’s international food policy. Prior to that, she was a research associate at MERICS covering research on urbanization (sustainability and  innovation), education  policy as well as food and consumer protection policy. Lichtenthaler studied sinology, economics, art history and German linguistics in Freiburg and Beijing. During her studies she spent one year as an exchange student at Beijing University and gained practical experiences at the German embassy in Beijing. 




Rolf J. Langhammer

Senior Policy Fellow for China in the Global Economy

Rolf J. Langhammer is a professor of economics at the Kiel Institute. From 1997 to 2012 he was Vice-President of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. He is an expert on development and trade issues, particularly in Asia. Langhammer has served as consultant to a number of international institutions (EU, World Bank, OECD, UNIDO, ADB), as well as to the German ministries of economic affairs and economic co-operation. He received his doctorate in economics in 1977 after joining the Kiel Institute in 1972.


Klaus Rohland

Senior Policy Fellow for China’s Economy

Klaus Rohland recently retired from his position as the World Bank's Country Director for Korea, China and Mongolia, stationed in Beijing, China. In this position he led the World Bank's operational work and advisory services, including the long term strategy studies on China's trajectory towards 2030 and urbanization. Prior assignments included positions as Country Director and Special Representative in the Russian Federation (2007 - 2009), as Country Director in Vietnam (2002-2007), Regional Director for the South Pacific stationed in Sydney, Australia (1997-2002), and early on as Advisor to the Executive Director for Germany at the Bank's Board (1980-1985). From 1985 to 1996 he worked for the Federal Government in Germany, initially at the Ministry for Economic Cooperation, including positions as private secretary to the Permanent Secretary and Division Chief in charge of Cooperation with Eastern Europe and the succession states of the former Soviet Union. As of 2003 he transferred to the International Department of the Office of the Federal Chancellor as Senior Adviser on North South relations before returning to the Bank in 1996. Throughout his career Klaus Rohland has worked on development issues of transition economies and new states with a special focus on institution building. He believes that the core challenge is to manage the negative externalities arising from the asynchrony between short term macroeconomic reform programs and the long term task of institution building. Klaus Rohland studied law and public administration and is a Graduate of the Harvard Business School/ World Bank Group Executive Development Program.


Dirk H. Schmidt

Senior Policy Fellow for China’s Foreign Political and Economic Relations

Dirk H. Schimdt holds a PhD in Political Science and is currently specialising in the politics and economy of China at the University of Trier.


Marc Szepan

Senior Policy Fellow for China’s Political Economy

Marc Szepan is a Lecturer in International Business at the University of Oxford Saïd Business School where he also completed his doctorate in management studies. He was one of the founding members of MERICS as Co-Director of the Economy and Business Research Area. Prior to returning to school, Szepan served as Senior Vice President, Airline Operations Solutions, at Lufthansa Systems. His professional experience also includes service as General Manager of a German-Chinese joint venture. He earned a B.A. from Middlebury College and an M.A. in Regional Studies – East Asia from Harvard University. He also holds an M.B.A. from the Duke University Fuqua School of Business. 




The Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) is a Stiftung Mercator initiative. Established in 2013, MERICS is a Berlin-based institute for contemporary and practical research into China. As a central forum for engagement with China in Germany, MERICS lays the foundations for people – especially decision-makers in Germany and Europe – to better judge questions and issues relating to China.